Keep in mind this is definitely a "high fantasy" approach. Two opposing heroes are just that - in game terms they would be heroes, in story terms each would be labeled a villain by the other side - but may still be "good" characters. Its not morality per se, its more about a code of conduct. Villain would be the one adopting evil, malicious behavior. We slap the label of villain on them when in fact to their culture they are a hero - exemplifying their highest values. But in game terms, to assess benefits gained from such a situation (higher purpose, quest, story vehicle), it sounds like the labels work.
Heroes and Villains are just extraordinary characters that make a large impact in the world they are in. The distinction between the two is a purely subjective definition. They are often opposing with differing viewpoints on similar issues. What is one person's hero may be another's villain. I hesitate to draw delineations based on a morality scale as they often wildly differ from one person to the next.
I suppose it could be put forth that a Villain in gaming terms would be the 'heroic' antagonist to the player character's heroes. A villain is no good if he/she isn't a dire threat to the player's characters.
That being said, the definition is adequate to describe what a Hero/Villain could be. It doesn't have to go further in-depth really, that's just extra flavor at that point. I favor more murky definitions because that's the way the real world works. But it is all a game afterall. So maybe the simpler approach would be perfectly reasonable in this case.
A hero or a villain is defined by the lens of any particular social group. One may extol "virtues" of a hero while another may malign those same qualities. We see it all the time in real life. Defining hero/villain status via such subjective and mutable definitions though really makes it tough to work into a game system. If you chose to go such a route, I would only advocate using the hero option and not the villain option since an individual championing one cause will necessarily be the villain to another. At that points its not terribly difficult to define the virtues of a particular culture/brotherhood/faith/whatever that one would champion.
The other approach, as you've stated, is to provide some universal definition of good & evil, which is its own problem. Most take on a very modern western viewpoint. In such a situation you are effectively just adopting one of many subjective view points and raising it to a level beyond all others, presumably validating it as correct or better than any other view point. It can't be denied that using a simple universal good/evil or law/chaos or cherry/rhubarb axis makes any such system easiest to use, which is its best selling point.
Although I favor the first option, its ultimately your call on which you feel makes the most sense for your game / setting and to what degree you wish to incorporate added complexity. There is nothing to say that you can't simply combine the two either.
From the definition you've provided, it seems you're leaning towards the first option but you're trying to couch it in terms of the second option. If you are trying to go the first option, provide a few examples. You may even define purchasable abilities related to the various cultures/view points that clearly denote the character as a champion, paragon, or embodiment of their values.
One thing that I especially liked about the Wild Wild West show was the way they titled each episode, all of them used the word "Night" in them, which is something I'm going to do with my western campaign.
Don't think I want to use the word "Night" in my games, probably will use something like "Showdown" or "Gunfight", etc.
Man, I sure wish I could join you on this. I am currently nearing the end of the second season myself. Are you planning on having West and Gordon be a part of this campaign or possibly have Dr. Loveless make an appearance or two?
Be sure to go on to season two also. As I noted in another thread, there are a couple of duds in the bunch. But overall, season two has some great stuff, including one of my favorite episodes which I remember watching as a kid. One of the more interesting things about it is that it guess stars Ricardo Montalban (sp) who also happens to be the guess star in one of Star Trek's most popular episodes.
Be sure to keep us informed on this.
I've been planning a western campaign for the last 8 months or so and have gotten my players really interested in it. Course, I told them that they have to wait for the current campaign to end, which could be whenever they want as it's a player driven campaign.
Got a few things more to do to finish before I can run but I know it'll be a wild campaign. Got the idea from a Dragon's Landing podcast and then started adding bits from Deadlands. Granted, it might not be for everyone, but I'm going to have quite a few characters from the Wild Wild West show as well as other westerns.
Got a flash intro to the campaign, you can view it here.
Good luck with your campaign.
Playing real time games is a complete time-suck. Which is great if you have the time to kill, but it takes away from doing more important stuff... like sitting down and doing some much needed pen and paper game prep.
Well, its finally starting to cool here. I envy those of you who did not have to deal with it. The worst was when there was no air movement and things just go "stale"...
Heat - I wish, it was cold and rainy for most of the summer. We turned the furnace on more than the AC!
Having lived in Florida most of my life, I've seen lots of hot summers. So far at least where I'm at, it's par for the course. The only time it really sucks is when we get a rain storm in the middle of the day that goes for ½ an hour to an hour, then stops and the sun comes out.
You get massive heat plus humidity and the air is so stifling that you can hardly breath!
Course, I also have central air at my house, you don't live in Florida without it!
Yeah, I hear you on the heat. We tried to get an A/C, but I was completely thwarted. So, we're at a hotel for the next couple of days until the worst passes. It's highly worth it. This is just too much.
I wish i could make it over there, but the east side is too far to go with my schedule and transportation woes right now. I've looked and there is a few decent schools here in West Seattle, but a lot of junk too. I've lost 15 lbs and plan on keep losing it and i want to get back into MA. I think i'm going to try western style boxing...
You could also swing over to Bellevue and check out the Seattle Chitoryu Karate Dojo at the South Bellevue Community Center. I've found that actually doing some sparing also helps you get a feel for how combat might flow.
Also, we always need more members
Yup. We're hosting a "character-generation" party tomorrow evening to mark the solstice Midsummer. Who knows what potent brews might get uncorked...
Sweet, sounds good.
Can't wait to use it as a GM against the PC's.
In retrospect the 'Witch of Dwindor Swamp' could have used it against the Gwinnish troops she ambushed to gain their sloop.
I'm bias but I think the Incarna Game System as it is now is fairly straight forward and easy to learn. at least for the Physical archetype characters (warriors, rouges, thugs, etc.). The rules don't seem to get in the way of the role playing experience and you don't even need to have them available after character creation to run your character.
This works well as a GM to since I can just carry this over to the NPCs.
'Slick' Jackie Ryan asks, "How is the lab going Patrick?"
"we got to look to the future..."
I posted the basics of it. The entire thing has about three pages of write up, most of which are best practice usage guidelines... the mechanics are pretty simple.
Very cool, templeorder. Dittos with Windstar, keep us posted.
tease! Keep us updated......lol